Facebook Pixel

affairs of the heart Join this Group

Is your spouse chronically ill? How is it affecting you?

By HERWriter Guide March 3, 2018 - 12:00am

Hi All

Thanks to lonely46 for starting this group.

Living with a chronically ill partner can be devastatingly lonely and frustrating, and it's not something society really lets us talk about.

The issue is not about whether we love or care about our ill spouse, it's about the harsh "side effects" that the caregiver suffers. While it's never easy to live with chronic illness, it's also not easy for the caretaker.

Let's share stories about life as the caretaker and the hardships (as well as the joys) of life. We can find comfort and support in knowing that we're not alone.


Here is another resource on sick spouse

By February 6, 2013 - 1:17pm

I am glad I found this post. I thought there was something wrong with me. I could not understand why I felt alone all the time. My wife has rheumatoid Arthritis, back problems, hormonal imbalance and a number of other issues. I am not trivializing her illness but it's all we talk about. We haven't made live or had sex in years about 10 approximately. I crave intimacy but because I do love my wife so I never allow myself to get that close to another female. Besides It would not be fair. She is on some very potent narcotic medications that make her irritable and withdrawn. The one thing we do is talk. My wife and I have discussed the issue but she never follows through. now please let me reiterate, while we have not had sex this isn't just about that. I don't want the reader to think I run behind my wife asking for sex. I am talking about intimate moments like holding hands, snuggling on the couch together, a hug every once in a while a touch on the arm when we are just sitting there. It seems like unless we are talking about the pain she is in or medical procedures or side effects there is no connection. I have spoken to her over and over and I am left feeling alone like a sibling, the guy that pays the bills, buys her things. I think I lavish gifts on her to compensate for the lack of intimacy, I have to stop that. I know she loves me but it isn't fulfilling to me as a man. I probably will not get a response from anyone on this page and that is okay. It is good to finally get the words out of me. We have two boys and I am afraid that when they are grown I will have to leave her so that I can be free to connect with another human being in a more emotionally satisfying relationship. To feel someone's skin against mine. To look into someones eyes and know how they feel about me.
I am sending this out wondering if it is just me, perhaps I need so suck it up and drive on and accept things the way they are. I am conflicted...that is for sure.

February 6, 2013 - 1:17pm
By January 23, 2012 - 7:53pm

Hello all. I came across this group by accident, but now I'm a little relieved that I found it. My husband currently deals with a multitude of chronic illnesses, including but not limited to diverticulitis, kidney stones and gout. He also has high blood pressure. I'm pretty convinced they are all related and caused by the fact that he has high levels of uric acid in his blood. Every six weeks or so, he has a "flare-up." Often, they are "small," but sometimes they are very severe to the point where he must go to the hospital. Even though he is in tremendous pain, he often still goes to work. But if it's really bad, he'll stay home, or go to the emergency room. We've been to just about every emergency room in our region due to his health issues. I live in constant fear that I'll receive a phone call that something terrible has happened to him, like he needed to have emergency surgery, or he's collapsed at work or something.

To top it off, he works a retail job, which means he very often isn't home until at least 7:30 or 8 at night and never around on weekends. We have a 2-year-old son, and we are expecting a daughter in March. Even when he isn't ill, I carry a lot of the responsibility on the home front. When he is there, he is fully present and helpful. But because of work, he often isn't there. He's never around on the weekends until the evenings. He takes care of our son on his days off during the week.

I feel so helpless, and worst of all, selfish -- it's gotten to the point where I immediately know by looking at his face whether or not he's in the throws of an "attack" of some kind. I used to feel sympathy. I used to pour over research. I used to meticulously plan out low-purine menus because of his body's high uric acid levels. A while ago he told me he wanted to try being a vegetarian so I did it with him for a while. I wanted to stick with it more than he did.

Now, it's gotten to the point where he'll tell me he's not feeling well, or in pain, or whatever, and it fills me with dread and resentment -- because this means I will once again have to go through a bout of picking up all the slack in our household, on top of everything I already do to support the reality of his work schedule.

Right now, it also means that I might have to take time off from work, which means I will have less paid time for my maternity leave. In addition, it means we will have to rely on daycare, which is extra money out of our pockets.

Add the fact that I'm 31 weeks pregnant, and, well...let's just say the most recent "attack" -- which we're still in the middle of, isn't going so well. Over the weekend, he promised me that I could sleep in on Sunday since he had the day off. We went to his work holiday party the night before and he had two glasses of red wine. He spend most of the night throwing up and basically went between sleeping and throwing up all of Sunday morning. Then my son woke up at 4 a.m., so no sleeping in for me. I finally got to take a nap in the afternoon...but our whole Sunday was completely shot. Instead of accepting it I just cried with anger.

Then, my husband is set to spend the day with my son tomorrow and he comes home tonight in pain, saying he's having another diverticulitis attack. My reaction just made me sad. I just said, "Well, I guess you won't be able to watch him tomorrow," and made plans to call daycare in the morning. Then I went in the bathroom and cried. I talked to him about how I'm feeling, just saying that I'm tired and stressed, and really emotionally drained from his illness. I apologized, and he told me I have nothing to apologize for, and that he'll be OK. It's like whenever he gets sick I just go on autopilot because it's all I can do to keep from completely falling apart.

I have family I can ask for help, and I do ask for help, but my mother is dealing with her own "health issues" -- basically, depression. She went from being my son's daycare provider when he was a baby to being my last resort when I need a babysitter. She is another family member who takes a lot of my energy, just trying to help her deal with her issues and get answers from her doctors. My father passed away seven years ago. My sister has been a tremendous help to us, but she can only do so much.

I love my husband very much. But sometimes I feel like a single mother with two children...and a third on the way. Am I a terrible person for feeling like this?

January 23, 2012 - 7:53pm
By December 5, 2011 - 2:40pm

Thank you so much for responding to my questions. First, to clear up a question you asked-we have been together just under five years. He had the heart attack and lost the job after we were living together for one year.
Unfortunately, his friend now says he doesn't think he can have my boyfriend stay with him but I think he would be glad to come and help out at the house. It seems as if as time goes on, there is no one willing to help out. His parents have paid his health insurance premium and each month they complain and don't seem to understand why he can't find work and has accrued so much cc debt just to keep going. His parents and his sibling have money and travel quite a lot (for example, his sibling just got back from a cruise and his parents are currently on another cruise) yet his sister has never offered to help him financially. I just don't understand why they can't see how difficult this is on me and that they need to help.
I could go on and on but the bottom line is - I am able to pay my bills and put a roof over both of our heads. I cannot take any more of my money to pay his bills. I can give him a place to recuperate and I can hope that he gets work. I cannot keep emotionally and physically stress myself worrying about our lives. Whether it is from love or from obligation to another, I would feel guilty to have him leave the house. Particularly when he has no prospects now. I think I am the only thing keeping him from having any chance at all. I just can't have the guilt of the consequences of my actions on my head.
So, for now, I am back to my blog name - day to day.

December 5, 2011 - 2:40pm
By November 27, 2011 - 2:39pm

A year after my boyfriend moved in with me he had a heart attack. A month later he lost his job and has not been able to find a job since. He has had a good career and has always supported himself (until now). It has now been 3 years since the heart attack and since then he has been diagnosed with Chron's disease, has had a back surgery and is now about to have a second back surgery. Between the surgeries and illnesses and no financial support, I am overwhelmed. I go back and forth with what I should do. It seems as if we go from one bad situation to the next and I don't feel like I have an equal partner but I sick anchor that I am dragging along. I now have panic attacks and high blood pressure. His parents have paid for his health insurance but I am picking up all the housing and living expenses. More importantly, I don't see an end, better times, etc. I am 55 years old and self-employed. I have spent over $30,000 of my retirement to keep him going and (dwindling down) and want to buy a house again. He has a friend who has offered to take him in after the surgery to recover there (should be 3 to 6 months). I am torn as part of me feels that I am obligated to take care of him (in sickness and in health) and a part of me just doesn't know if I can go through it again.

Any thoughts?

November 27, 2011 - 2:39pm
By October 30, 2011 - 10:06pm

My husband has type 2 diabetes and he is an active drinking alcoholic. He will not allow me to help him and he is deliberately pushing me away from him. I am grateful for a group setting in which to share and gain some insights that can help me as I love him and try to do what is best for him. Thank you.

October 30, 2011 - 10:06pm

Group Leader

Related Topics


Spouses dealing with chronically ill spouses, without sexually or emotionally connections


New Castle De


This Group is Open to all EmpowHER.com members